Eija's garden is located on a cabin site in the village of Ahvenkoski at Ruotsinpyhtää in the province of Eastern Uusimaa, Finland.
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The municipality of Ruotsinpyhtää has played a significant role in the history of Finland. The municipality was created by the Turku peace treaty in 1743 when the new border between the kingdom of Sweden-Finland and Russia was drawn through what was Pyhtää at the time. The part that remained on the Swedish side of the border was rechristened Ruotsinpyhtää - Swedish Pyhtää. The municipality in total was called by the name of the old forge, Strömfors.
In the year 1880, a log-framed cabin was built on a spot full of natural beauty in the delta of the River Kymijoki. Originally, the cabin belonged to the Strömfors forge founded by Johan Creuz in the year 1695. Despite the ownership relation, the cabin is not located in the forge area but a little over three kilometres - under two miles - away from it.
Cabin in the shade of apple trees
In the early 1950's, the cabin was completely overshadowed by the dense apple tree grove surrounding it. The cabin is known for these apple trees even today. Less than one thousand square metres only - under 1200 square feet - around the cabin were originally cleared for the yard. The rest of the land around the cabin was covered by dense, murky forest. The A Ahlström company had the trees felled in the early 1990's and the light conditions in the area changed radically.
Rocks create atmosphere
The lot of land, covering about one hectare - almost two and a half acres - presented a challenge for garden and landscape design. The massive piles of rocks and huge boulders, brought to the place by the forces of the ice-age, had to be included in the plan. The masses of rock are so huge, simply, that transporting them or having them blasted were not viable options at any point. And it is true that rocks make the garden interesting and create a unique atmosphere there. Many of us think that rocks emit positive energies around them like old trees.
When I took over the land in the year 2005, there was a small lot cultivated as a garden around the cabin, and the rest of the land was forest grounds, left as they were after the trees had been cut. The cabin had been uninhabited for eleven years, though renovated and kept basically heated, luckily. During those years, the basic upkeep of the garden was in order, but for example, the largish vegetable garden and strawberry patch were totally overgrown and there was only a narrow, delightfully grassy footpath leading to the cabin.
Of the many apple trees, only one was left, most likely a half-wild one grown from seed, and it was saved as a memento of the olden times.
Dead standing pine
One of the spectacular beauties of the place is a dead standing pine with gracious
branches. The grey pine stands out proudly creating a popular meeting place for many birds from spring to autumn time.
These were the grounds for me to start my garden design which I wanted to reflect the delightful English garden, a style I truly love. In my design, I wanted to honour the old yard of the cabin and the historical atmosphere of the Ahvenkoski village. To ascertain variety in the garden, I included dense and structured disciplined parts as well as parts in their natural state and smaller areas for theme gardens. I think a garden should not be completely visible at one glance. Instead, a garden should be experienced as rooms that open up for the visitor one after another. A garden should include things to explore, otherwise there might be no experience created for one to share in.
Beauty and peace in the garden
Come alone or with someone and enjoy the atmosphere of the garden while you gather ideas and inspiration for your own garden. Find places and details to relax the mind and let a sense of peace overcome you.
For my garden shop, I have selected products that will help you create different
atmospheres in your garden and perennials, typical of cottage gardens, that you can plant there